Do you have the feeling that people who have ‘the gift of the gab’ as we popularly call easy conversation skills, attract more friends and clients? Well, you would be right. Studies show that skill doubles their rate of attraction. That means that they are capitalizing on conversation, a skill that impacts everyone’s professional and personal potential in a business or social networking environment.
How you are perceived is one kind of capital that admits you into ongoing and critical conversations that help build the relationships you want in business or in your private life. Another kind of capital is how you are spoken of based on the content and feel of your conversation. That ongoing piece of capital pays dividends over time as you gain what you hope for and continue to be invited into conversations capable of reinforcing and strengthening bonds.
You deposit into that social and commercial bank of connection resources with your every meeting, post, email, tweet, document or interaction. Each is effectively a conversation and your skill in entering and sustaining a meaningful exchange is entirely transferrable to your verbal or written messages.
The ideal aim common to both types of conversation is to be:
4. considerate of your audience, or your reader.
Defining the natural and the nice
Want to feel comfortable and move fluidly in society? Pay attention to civility.
It is another name for courtesy which the Merriam Webster dictionary defines as:
1. Formal politeness and courtesy in behaviour or speech.
2. Polite remarks used in formal conversation.
Were you courteous in your social encounters over the celebratory season?
No doubt as either listener or speaker, you felt the practical power of courtesy. It is when conversation partners remember the interests and presence of others. Skilled conversationalists:
1. Strive to be relevant when it’s ‘their turn to talk’
2. Courteously pose a quality question and turn the spotlight back onto another in the exchange so that others can express themselves and share in the joy and usefulness of conversation.
It may be natural to take the spotlight, it is a social nicety to share it by listening actively, being relevant and remembering others. Listening is the heart of your conversational skill, just as paying attention is similarly critical in your writing with relevance. As such, capitalizing on conversation is to enjoy spontaneous opportunities, but like most communication skills, to know it has a structure and is perfected with practice.
VIP A very important point you may have heard is, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Show civility in your social interaction, whether you call it courtesy, consideration or care and you will reap the capital benefits of conversation, be it online, in print or in person.
Tips on Sustaining Conversation
First let’s understand The Purpose of Conversation
Hint: It’s not only about show stopping topics, humour, innumerable stories, and expressive delivery or even about being a better, bigger talker. The truth behind the desire for conversation is the human need to:
1. Enjoy interaction with people and the opportunity for self expression. The pleasure of company who stimulate us drives most of our social activities and in this case we allow such a casual contact to flow easily and to find its natural topics and direction.
2. Get to know another person better. In business and personal connections we like to understand how a person thinks, feels and reacts and for this we need longer exposure to that person and their conversation.
3. To build the connection that will yield the all important “know, like and trust” combination.
Conversation, over time, reveals us to each other and leads to deeper channels of communication.
Once you being a conversation, or step into one in progress, your secret to sustaining a connection lies in your ability to ask questions. Listening to the answers naturally gives you clues as to the direction of the conversation. Go ahead share your ideas, and opinions, but also listen actively and practice the habit of asking well-worded questions that sustain the conversation and give other people an opportunity to express themselves.
More Writers’ Considerations to Serve Your Conversation Skill:
1. Be curious. It keeps you young, informed and a genuinely interested listener.
2. Take a breath. If you feel like you have talked too much you probably have and it’s time to give someone else a turn and consider your audience’s interests.
3. Ask quality questions. Get more than a yes or no answer and explore the 5 Ws + H writer’s query topics with. Ask: why, who, what, where, when and don’t forget how. Oh and the favourite of any story teller, What if?